The Ice Fishing Craze

Payton McClintock

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Throughout the month of February, record breaking temperatures ignited a sport typically uncommon in Ohio.  Ice fishing took over the lakes in one of the coldest months Ohio has seen in many years.

The near complete freezing of Lake Erie brought in fishermen from all over the country to take advantage of this rare occurrence and the fish they now have access to.  Erie is the 11th largest lake in the world by surface area, being 241 miles long and 57 miles across at its widest point.  Much of the lake, especially the western basin, is covered in about eight to ten inches of ice.  The thickness of the ice allows the fishers to be assured of their safety when lugging all of their equipment to their desired spot in order to catch some prized walleye.

Because ice fishing conditions have been bringing in so many people from across the nation, places that are normally dormant in the winter have been buzzing.  Lake condos, hotels, local restaurants, and bait shops are just a few of the businesses that have been benefitting from the flocking fishermen.

Not only have year-round businesses been benefitting from the ice fishing, but specialized businesses have been as well.  Many charter companies offer to take clients out on the lake by using specially designed boats to push their way through the ice-covered lake.  This full service company requires its clients to just bring themselves, everything else is provided.  They also guarantee to catch at least one fish, or your money back.  A full day trip with DB Charters, located in Geneva, Ohio, ranges from 500 dollars to 850 for a maximum of six people.

Although extreme cold may not always be considered the best weather, many ice fishermen and local business owners are more than willing to brave the harsh winters in order to continue fishing.

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